Here you’ll find everything you need to help keep yourself and those around you, healthy over the winter months.
Flu can be serious and even deadly for older adults, very young children, and people with long-term health conditions. The vaccine is the best defence we have against what can be a serious illness. If you’re in an eligible group – make sure you get vaccinated.
There are several types of flu vaccine, your GP or pharmacist will offer you one of the vaccines based on the recommendations for your age group.
Visit nhs.uk for more information.
Flu is serious and is different to the common cold. Symptoms include a high temperature, body aches and fatigue.
If you think you have flu, stay home and rest until you feel better. Call NHS 111 if you have a long-term health condition or feel really unwell.
Aside from having your flu vaccine, the best way to prevent the spread of flu is to practice good hand hygiene. Catch coughs and sneezes in a tissue, throw the tissue away and wash your hands.
If you think you need urgent medical help and you don’t know what to do, call 111 for free from landlines and mobiles or go online to 111.nhs.uk.
NHS 111 gives you access to advice 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and if necessary, they can arrange for you to speak to relevant healthcare professionals, including nurses, emergency dentists, or even GPs.
The advisors can also arrange face-to-face appointments and if you are assessed as needing an ambulance, one will be sent directly.
At the first sign of a winter illness, even if it’s just a cough or cold, get advice from your pharmacist, before it gets more serious. Pharmacists are fully qualified to advise you and can be the best and quickest way to help you recover and get back to normal.
In Hull, people who do not pay for prescriptions can visit a number of pharmacies to receive free-of-charge medication without having to see their GP first. Further information about the scheme is available here.
For winter illnesses that aren’t going away with self-care make an appointment to see one of the healthcare professionals in your GP practice.
For routine appointments, your local GP practices are now also open longer so you can get the help you need more easily. Appointments with a GP, nurse or other healthcare professional are now available in the evening and weekend, at either your local practice or another nearby NHS service. you can access these appointments by contacting your usual GP practice or using the details below:
• For information on evening and weekend appointments in East Riding of Yorkshire, visit improvingaccess.co.uk
• For information on evening and weekend appointments in Hull, visit accessplus.org.uk
The out of hours GP service is available for patients between 6:30pm to 8:00am weekdays and all day on weekends and Bank Holidays, when doctors’ surgeries are closed.
If you need medical treatment that’s not an immediate emergency, but cannot wait until the next day then call NHS 111 to get an appointment with the out of hours GP.
Driffield and Withernsea both have 8 – 8 planned care centres that provide a low-level minor injury service for adults and children, two years and above.
If you have an injury that is not an emergency, it is important that you ring NHS 111 first. A professional will assess your symptoms and determine whether your injury is low-level and whether the 8 – 8 centre can meet your needs. Find our more on our 8-8 centres.
In Hull, you can visit Story Street Medical Practice, between 8am – 8pm without an appointment. The practice sees both registered and unregistered patients and is open 7 days a week and over bank holidays. For more information, visit Story Street Medical Centre.
If you have an urgent injury or illness that is not serious, life or limb threatening, then the nearest Urgent Treatment Centre (UTC) can provide assessment, advice and/or treatment.
Common conditions UTCs can treat are:
Depending on your symptoms, UTCs can carry out blood tests and x-rays to get a better understanding of what is wrong and, if needed, prescribe medication and issue prescriptions for some conditions.
You can walk into UTC; however, we always recommend you ‘talk before you walk’ and call NHS 111. They will assess your symptoms, decide what medical help you need and advise where you need to go.
In Hull, Bransholme Health Centre has a 24-hour Urgent Treatment Centre. Visit CHCP online for information (including x-ray opening hours).
In the East Riding of Yorkshire, there are three Urgent Treatment Centres, Beverley, Bridlington and Goole. Find the nearest one to you.
For life threatening and emergency situations, such as:
• Loss of consciousness
• Acute confused state
• Chest pain
• Breathing difficulties
• Severe bleeding
Call 999 or visit your nearest Accident and Emergency Department immediately.
Winter conditions can be seriously bad for your health, especially if you are aged 65 or older and have a long-term condition such as COPD, bronchitis, emphysema, asthma, diabetes or heart or kidney disease.
The cold and damp weather can aggravate existing health problems and make you more vulnerable to respiratory winter illness. However, there are many things you can do to stay well and stop your condition becoming worse.
It’s important to keep warm in winter, both indoors and outdoors. Keeping warm can help prevent colds, flu and more serious health problems such as heart attacks, strokes, pneumonia and depression. Some top tips are:
Many over the counter medicines (including paracetamol and ibuprofen) are available to relieve symptoms of common winter ailments, such as colds, sore throat, cough, sinusitis or painful middle ear infection (earache).
Talk to your pharmacist for advice on what medicines you should have in your cabinet to get the relief you need straight away.
If you’ve been prescribed antibiotics or any other medication, make sure you take them as directed and finish your course.
Don’t forget to get your prescription medicines before your pharmacy or GP practice closes for Christmas too.
You can order repeat prescriptions online – ask your GP reception team about signing up to online services, including booking appointments, accessing test results and ordering repeat prescriptions.
Elderly neighbours, friends and family members may need a little extra help over winter. Look out for people who are frailer than you by:
The winter months can be an isolating time – keeping in touch and looking out for one another can help people feel better supported and not so alone. Taking the time to have a cup of tea with an elderly neighbour, or popping round to see a family member could make all the difference to how someone is feeling.
For more support and advice around loneliness and isolation visit Age UK here.